Scott McLaughlin's father has spoken out about DJR Team Penske (DJRTP)'s recent breach which saw the Kiwi V8 Supercar driver relegated to the back of the grid for yesterday's race.
The rule breach was a result of McLaughlin's engine exceeding "the maximum permitted valve lift prescribed in the car's Engine Specification Document", causing the Confederation of Australian Motorsport to fine the team and retroactively disqualify McLaughlin from Bathurst qualifying and the shootout.
Speaking to Radio Sport, Wayne McLaughlin said that the breach came down to "human error" after an engineer made a "simple mistake".
"Obviously there is a little controversy there over the valve and the engine but that's out of the driver's control," he said.
"It was just the way the motor was built and ... one valve was out ... I suppose it was human error, to be honest."
According to the steward's decision, the team ran two engines over the weekend after one was replaced because the observed water pressure in the first engine was abnormally high.
The first engine, which breached rules, set the fastest times in the field in both Qualifying and the Top Ten Shootout for the Bathurst 1000, stripping McLaughlin of his fastest lap title.
The second engine was used during the Bathurst 1000 race and did not breach any rules.
When the first engine was pulled apart, the breach was discovered.
"They searched and searched until they found something," Wayne said.
"One of the valves was warm by less than 0.1000 to the mm, but it was outside the spec."
Several measurements were made and completed after the subsequent event, the "Vodafone Gold Coast 600" held on October 23-27 2019 by Supercars technical personnel.
The maximum valve lift of 0.710mm was exceeded, as the valve measured at 0.7135.
However, according to the technical personnel, "no performance advantage arising from the breach was established by the evidence and was unlikely in any event."
DJRTP were fined AU$30,000 and McLaughlin was relegated to the back of the grid for yesterday's Sandown 500.
"The penalties were pretty severe, but the rules are the rules, they are all the same for everybody," Wayne said.
However, on the lighter side, Wayne said he was "mind blown" that his son has won back-to-back championships with one round still to go.
"[All the controversy] can't take away that he has won a championship," he boasted.
"Like I always say, dig deep and show them on the track and that's exactly what they have done."
McLaughlin crash 'pretty horrific'
Speaking about McLaughlin's crash during the qualifying laps for the Vodafone Gold Coast 600, he said he was outside washing the car when his wife, Diane McLaughlin called him in.
"As I walked in the door, she's yelled that he had rolled over," he recalled.
"I asked 'what do you mean?' ... I saw the big screen and all I can see is him sliding down the road on his side.
"Yeah it was pretty horrific, he got knocked around ... more than people would have known."
Wayne said Ryan Story rang him an hour after qualifying and said that they are sending him off to hospital for a preliminary check, but apparently the driver was reluctant.
"Scott didn't want go and said 'I'm alright, I'm alright'. But his speech was a little bit funny so they shot him hospital and gave him a cat scan," Wayne said.
After having a cat scan, the doctors weren't happy with the results so they wanted to do a MRI as he took a big hit.
"I think Scott got a bit nervous there, I know Diane and I were sitting at the edge of our seats for three hours."
But after three hours, his MRI came out clear.
"That three hours was pretty daunting and just not being able to be there," Wayne said.
But Scott had a very supportive crew and his fiance, Karly Paone, to look after him.
Wayne said does worry about his son, but trusts that the cars are safe to drive.
"At the end of the day, like Scott says, 'you can't wrap me up in cotton wool. I'm doing what I love and getting paid well to do what I do'."